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Shawn Patton's Philosophy Page!

You've all heard the questions: "If a tree falls in the forest and no oneis around, does it make a sound?" and "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"But, what are the answers? Bart Simpson's replies were "eeeeeeeeoooommmmmmCRASH!" and "whap"But I propose something different....

These questions are meant to open your mind and allow you to think clearly, right?Right... So, what is the point of pondering over them for hours? The answersare simple: If the tree lands on the forest floor, Bart is right; if it landsin a lake, it goes "eeeeeeoooooommmmmSPLASH!" As for the hand, it depends onhow fast the person clapping can actuate the correct muscles. I for one can produce a good sized clap while other people can not.

Now, here is a question for all you web surfers out there...
Do platapi really know more then walruses?

  • Response 1: Of COURSE platapi really know more than walruses. If they didn't, howcould they possibly be so furry? Duh.

  • Response 2: After consulting a number of texts on the subject including, but notlimited to: The Encyclopedia Britannica, Time Magazine, The Farmer'sAlmanac, the Feb. '88 issue of Reader's Digest, the instruction bookletfor my camera, the CTY Web Page, a photo of Marie, Shawn, Tom, and me atHomecoming, and then drinking a bottle of Nestea, I forgot the question.So my only answer can be, BECAUSE I SAY SO!!! Thank you. -KatHong

  • Response 3: The C in CTS: Do unborn souls fear birth as much as the living fear death?And if so, what would the dead fear?

  • Response to response 3 by Xanzibar: Well, if unborn souls fear birth and living souls fear death, shouldn'tdead souls fear being unborn?

  • Response to response 3 by me:Giving someone chicken salad instead of a birthday gift is no excuse.

  • A kwakky little duck: I choose to remain neutral to promote peace between duck-billed animals everywhere.

  • Now the question is, why do ducks always huddle around bowls of soupfor warmth? Why don't they just use a fireplace?

  • Xanzibar: The answer to this question is very obvious. To a duck, it is importantthat the source of warmth be portable. Since it is very difficult to carry afireplace around in a thermos, ducks prefer bowls of soup. Secondly, thesoup tastes better.

  • Platipuses'ss are evil! They are creatures of Satan. They are reallyaliens bent on world domination. They are in disguise! We must dependon the Walrusess'ss to save us! We need them! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
    Shawn's friend Nithin!

  • Thank you Nithin :-)

First i have to give you my answer to the koan "what is the sound of one handclapping?". it's not very straightforeward, so bear with me for a bit. thereare two ways of approaching this question: articulately and comprehensively.most people figure that one hand can't clap, so therefore it makes no sound;this is articulate thought. however, i look at it comprehensively. i canimagine an imaginary hand clapping with a real one to produce an imaginarysound;i can divide the sound of one clap into half a clap; i can also produce anynumber of other conceptions which are also valid. i hope this makes sense (atleast some).now getting back to the question. i believe that there is no answer, or atleast the answer becomes irrelevant once you become enlightened. see, i believethat everyone has a buddha (or spirit, or whatever you like to call it--i like'buddha') inside themselves. there's a saying that goes like this: "if youmeet the buddha, kill the buddha." i think this means that if you meet it, thenit is not your own and therefore you are imitating someone else. hence, it mustbe "killed". you must find your own path. so, this question does not have anultimate answer. we are all shadows, ghosts, ideas; there is no one truth. ifthe lights go out, i'm invisible...if i think the sound of one hand clapping isloud but someone else imagines it to be soft, my reasoning becomes invisible,too. (i'm really hoping this is making some kind of sense.)so in conclusion, there is no answer other than enlightenment.if i did not make myself clear (which i frequently don't), feel free to ask.

About the tree falling in the woods.
If no one is in the woods to hear the tree fall, I believe that it doesnot make a sound. Sound is what is created by us, through our ears andall that shit... when a tree falls, it actually just creates soundwaves. If no one is around to interpret those sound waves into actualsound, then there simply is no sound.
Just my view, though.

If you have any comments on these questions and answers please write to me and tell me. If you include "Post me!" in the mail I will consider posting it on this site! Yay! Thanks for listening...

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